DALLAS -- Raised in the Washington, D.C., area, it hasn't taken Delonte West long to fall in love with the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
West is about to begin just his second season as a guard for the Dallas Mavericks.
But he's so smitten with this area that he could probably get a part-time job at a local convention center touting DFW to visitors.
"It's Texas, the old western town," West said. "You ride through the West [with] cowboy boots and hats.
"It's all love and you feel it and it translates over to a sports team. That's why America, I guess, loves the Cowboys. And everybody who comes through Dallas -- even the new players here -- just in being here in an initial amount of time, they're already talking how I was talking last year like, 'Man, I'm really enjoying Dallas.'"
And the Mavericks are enjoying West, who is one of seven guards vying for playing time this season. They like his versatility, his aggressive style, and his in-your-face demeanor.
"He's a terrific all-around player," coach Rick Carlisle said. "He gives us something really virtually in every area of the game.
"Offensively, he can score and make plays, and defensively he's going to be one of the better defenders at his size in this league, and we like his experience. He gained a lot of credibility last year in our locker room with our guys, so I'm happy to have him back."
By his own admission, West is a different breed. D.C.-area police pulled him over in 2009 while he was riding a three-wheeled motorcycle with a guitar case containing three guns.
Earlier this year West went on a Twitter rant that included some colorful language. He also surmised that when the Mavs signed him to a second one-year free agent contract this past summer, that it was actually the second year of a two-year deal.
"I'm honored and I'm blessed with this opportunity that they extended my contract," West said. "Some people say I'm crazy -- I just have a different way of looking at things.
"I felt like I'm on a two-year contract. I am on a multi-year. It just started last year."
Carlisle likes the unbridled passion West brings to the court and to the Mavericks' locker room. He knows the player who admits to sleeping in gyms and cars wears his emotions on his sleeve.
"I love him as a kid, I love the fact that he faces challenges day-to-day and he meets them head on, and he's honest, and he and I talk a lot," Carlisle said. "It's a relationship that isn't always smelling like roses, but we manage to grow, because we're talking all the time.
"It's important that I hear what he has to say all the time because he's a knowledgeable guy."
West, 29, is just glad Carlisle has an open-door policy where players can come and let off some steam.
"It's great because coach Carlisle gets it -- he really gets it," West said of his relationship with Carlisle. "He understand what players go through, he understands the mental aspect of it and he understands -- now we can communicate through the year and through the summer -- that fine line I have between that competitive drive I have that sometimes crosses over, and I'll hold on to anger.
"He understands me, so it's a good relationship."
As far as his love and affection for Texas goes, West said: "I've got some Louis Vuitton snakeskin half-cut boots that I'm going to crush ya'll with this year."
Tickets on sale
Single-game tickets for Dallas Mavericks games for the upcoming season can be purchased beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The tickets will be made available simultaneously online at mavs.com, at the American Airlines Center Box Office, at all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling 214-747-6287 (MAVS).
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760